Being a bit tied up with family issues I just had time to sketch out this portrait of a Cambodian Lady I spotted when I paused on a cycle ride by a river near Battambang – the second city of Cambodia. The light on her face accentuated her features as she squatted by some sugar cane that she had collected. I have a few pictures of different people of southeast Asia I took on my recent travels and was considering creating a small collection.
In Siem Reap in Cambodia (the city’s name means Defeat of Thailand – no punches pulled there) we sat in the park with the flying foxes roosting in the trees. Groups of tourists were brought to see them and as the guide spoke , enterprising icecream sales people swooped to feed the stationary tourists.
A few days earlier in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam we sat in another park. A group of children sat to my left painting, Tai Chi sessions were everywhere and one man even washed himself,( sorry, I wasnt quick enough with my camera as he shoved the hose pipe down his shorts to clean the nether regions) then cleaned his bike, changed his clothes and after donning a new hat – he wore a grubby old hat whilst cleaning his bike, – rode off into the traffic.
Up at 4-30 today to see the sunrise over Angkor Wat – along with a few thousand others. Waiting for the light I was able to sketch the outlines and make some colour notes. Probably not the most spectacular sunrise, but it was comfortably cool at that hour.
The day before we had tramped through the searing heat and visited some of the other temples in this massive complex. In the 12th century it was reported to be the biggest city on earth. Cracks and leaning buildings are testament to war, not earthquake. The displays of carving are exquisite and there are so many of them.
On to Cambodia and our first port of call was the capital Phnom Penh. It is a war torn country, getting back on its feet and the city has the old markets side by side with the new brash buildings. I did this very fast into the light, but hopefully it captures the flavour of the city.
The day before we entered Cambodia we spent a very pleasant day on the Mekong delta in Vietnam, sampling the transport and food. We had lunch in a riverside cafe on one of the many forested islands. After the meal there was time for a siesta – but art never sleeps and I had just enough time for this quick sketch before we were whisked back to Ho Chi Minh City.